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Can I get life insurance if I have a felony? 

Criminal Felony

A felony is a serious crime that can result in jail time and follow you for the rest of your life. Having a felony on your record can affect many things, including whether you can get life insurance. Getting life insurance for inmates is a complicated process, but it can be done.   

Let’s look at some ways that you can get life insurance even with a felony. We’ll also look at what types of life insurance would be good if you have a criminal record and how to get your record expunged or sealed so that you can get back to living your life.  

Ways to Get Life Insurance with a Felony 

Since committing a felony is seen as a risk for insurance providers, there are only a few ways to get life insurance with such a charge on your record. The best way is to wait for your probation period to be over. That could be anywhere from a few months to two years, depending on what you did.  

For example, you could be on probation for a year or more if you committed robbery or burglary 

Another way to get life insurance is to go with Prudential, an insurance company that can be lenient with its policyholders. If this provider sees that you’re getting better and making more positive life choices, they will more than likely give you coverage.  

Shopping for multiple policies through different providers will be the easiest way to find a policy that fits your needs. While you may be rejected by some providers, it never hurts to ask.  

If you were already paying into an existing policy before being charged with a felony, you should continue to pay your provider as normal. However, if your provider becomes aware of your felony charge, they may decide to drop your policy or increase your premiums.  

While it may be tempting to lie about your felony charge when applying for a new life insurance policy, it isn’t a wise decision. Your potential provider will do a thorough background check before determining whether you are eligible for a policy. If they find out you have lied on your application, you could face more serious consequences.  

While you may not be put in jail for lying on your application, your insurance company can instantly deny your claim, even if you are past your probationary period. Beyond that, your deceit could be recorded on a database where other insurers can view it, making it even more difficult for you to get insurance from another company.  

There are few options for people with felonies on their record to get life insurance. Don’t let that discourage you, though. You just have to be patient, and things will turn around.  

What type of life insurance should you get with a criminal record? 

Among those few options to get life insurance, there are certain types of insurance policies that felons can get. You can get group life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and guaranteed issue life insurance. Below, we will look at each of these policies in detail.  

Group Life Insurance 

Group life insurance is a policy that you can only get through your employer. It doesn’t matter if you have a criminal record. The provider won’t do a background check because the insurance is through your job. You receive a certificate of insurance from your employer and have the right to choose who your beneficiary will be. 

The downside to this coverage option is that it is only provided through your employer. If you were to leave your position to find another, or you are laid off for any reason, you will lose your coverage and have to start over finding another policy.  

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 

This type of insurance will pay out from accidental death. Unfortunately, strokes and heart attacks are not covered by this policy. This is good to have in case something happens to you, and you need something to help your family pay for funeral costs and outstanding debts like medical bills.  

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance 

Guaranteed issue life insurance is an insurance policy that people who don’t normally qualify for life insurance can get. It usually comes with a catch: If you die within two or three years of obtaining it, your beneficiaries will not receive a death benefit. They will only receive the amount in premiums that you paid plus 10% interest. This policy also requires that you are over the age of 50. 

The other downside to guaranteed issue life insurance is that it won’t cover much beyond your burial expenses. Since this policy is guaranteed approval, the coverage doesn’t extend much past your burial and funeral expenses.  

While that’s not to say the policy isn’t worth it — especially if you are struggling to find a coverage option, it’s just a factor to be aware of if it’s what you choose. If you have a family you hope to provide for in the event of your death, this coverage option might not be best.  

Group life insurance could be beneficial if you have a record. The other two policies are not ideal, but they are better than not having insurance at all. Life insurance is one of those things that you don’t want to be without. Not having it can greatly affect your loved ones should something happen to you.  

Steps to Get Your Record Expunged or Sealed 

Thankfully, there are ways to either get your record expunged or sealed. When your record is expunged, you are getting a clean slate, and your felony is no longer seen on your record. A record seal means your record is no longer available to the public. Getting your record expunged or sealed requires several steps. Below, we will look at them in detail. 

#1 – Get Your Record 

Your local law enforcement agency should have your record on file. Make sure to get a copy to start the process of getting your record expunged.  

#2 – Get Your Criminal History from the State Bureau of Investigations 

Your criminal history is slightly different from your criminal record in that your history is all your court dates and charges, regardless of whether you were convicted, pleaded guilty, or had the charges dismissed.  

Every state has a bureau of investigations. Make sure you know where your state’s office is located and be sure to get a copy of your criminal history.  

#3 – Complete the Forms for Your Petition 

You can find the forms for your petition online on your state’s official website. Fill them out accurately to avoid any delays or rejections by the court.  

#4 – File Your Petition 

When you’ve finished completing the forms for your petition, it’s time to file. You can file your petition with the same court that dealt with your case.  

#5 – Wait for the Court to Review Your Petition 

Waiting for the court to review your petition is the hardest part of the process, but it must be done. It may take up to 90 days to hear back from the court, and the judge may also require a hearing before they make a final decision. 

#6 – Send the Order to the Police and Bureau of Investigations 

After the hearing and the 90-day waiting period, the judge will finally make a decision. If they approve the record seal, be sure to send the order to the police department and your state’s bureau of investigations.  

 (Note: There’s always a chance for the judge to deny your record expungement or seal. If that’s the case, you are eligible to file again after 12 months.) 

How Making Better Choices Can Save You and Your Loved Ones 

It’s not easy having a criminal history and record. A life of crime affects your life, your relationships, your ability to get life insurance, and your career. 

 When your record is sealed or expunged, you are able to start fresh in a lot of ways. Get the help you need to make better choices. Doing so will prevent further heartache for you and your family.  



Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site,

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